When a will is written, it is done so to make sure the writer’s — the testator’s — last wishes are carried out. As such, it is typically unusual for a will to be contested, and even less common for such a challenge to be successful. Yet, there are specific reasons why an interested party, typically the surviving spouse, would want to contest it. A successful will contest in Nevada could result in the document being partially or wholly invalidated.
The most common reason a will may be challenged is if it was written by a testator who was not of sound mind. This means it was written by someone who was at least 18 years old and understood the consequences of the document. The testator must understand the value of the property, who the beneficiaries are, what making the will means and how all of that affects asset distribution.
There are also two other factors surrounding the actual creation of the will that could affect its validity. First, if the testator was manipulated in any way into leaving property to a specific heir, a will contest may be successful. In addition, if there were not enough witnesses at the signing of the will, it may be invalid.
Another major factor that could jeopardize a will is if there is a newer will involved, which trumps an older one. Other possible reasons to challenge a will include if there is a self-proving affidavit and other required information included and whether it follows the testator’s resident state’s laws.
Challenging a will can be a long process. As such, having an estate law attorney involved may be beneficial.